Study: U.S. Copyright Sector Adds $930B to Economy

November 3, 2011

U.S. movie, music, software and other industries heavily dependent on copyright protections added nearly $932 billion to the U.S. economy in 2010, or about 6.4 percent of total gross domestic product, according to new study released on Wednesday.

The report was done for the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which said it showed the need for strong enforcement of laws against the piracy of copyrighted material, both in the United States and abroad.

The group includes the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and the Business Software Alliance.

The study said U.S. copyright industries accounted for $134 billion in foreign sales and exports, far more than other top export sectors such as aircraft, autos and agriculture.

“The analyses released today, based on U.S. government data, demonstrate the vibrancy of copyright and creativity as an engine for growth for the U.S. economy,” said Steven Metalitz, counsel for the IIPA.

“To preserve and enhance that vibrancy, we must ensure strong legal protection for U.S. creativity, innovation, and ingenuity, both here and in the markets of our trading partners, in both the physical and online world,” he said.

Core copyright industries such as film, music and software employed nearly 5.1 million workers in 2010, or about 3.93 percent of the entire U.S. work force.

Those workers earned on average slightly more than $78,000 per year, or 27 percent more than the average for U.S. workers, the study said.

The study also looked at industries that are partially dependent on copyright protections, such as some manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

When those are included, the total contribution of copyright industries to U.S. economy in 2010 was $1.627 trillion or 11.1 percent of GDP, the study said.

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